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Monday, March 22, 2010

Peter Spit a Seed at Sue, written by Jackie French Koller and illustrated by John Manders. Penguin Group (Canada). 2008. $17.50 ages 3 and up

"Four bored kids on a boring porch,
Watching a bug crawl across the floor.
Just then we heard a fella yellin' - he was sellin' watermelon!"

That fella would not have caught my attention...but to turn up my nose and retch. I hate watermelon! No matter how hard my Mom tried, she could not get me to like it! 'It's so cool on a hot day!' 'It's mostly water, how can you not like water?' 'You can spit the seeds out!' Nope, nothing made me want to eat it!

The fact that this book is about watermelon does not deter me from liking it and imagining the fun to be had when sharing it this spring with a group of kids at school. Perfect for the picnic and celebration we are planning for New Era in June!

It starts innocently enough...four bored kids finally finding something to distract them. When the watermelon man comes by, they are thrilled to have something to do. As they chomp and slurp, the spitting of seeds begins! Pete is first and then the war is on! The four chase each other through the neighborhood, seeds flying everywhere. Just when they run out of slices, they chance to meet the watermelon man again and the comedy continues. Now, it involves those who find themselves on the village square...OOPS! Soon everyone is involved.

When the mayor's limo pulls up and she climbs out, she is yelling! Mad at everyone involved for making such a mess. All 'spitters' take a moment to see what they have done and to feel contrite. That feeling only lasts as long as it takes the mayor to snatch a pie from a passing baker's rack and launch it toward Pete. No more seeds but whipped cream is everywhere you look...and who wouldn't join in?

Great storytelling technique, fun-filled illustrations on double page spreads and a satisfying ending make this a story that begs to be read aloud! Enjoy!

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